Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Arizona Sul Rocks Out at Hard Rock Cafe


A couple of weeks ago we went with a bunch of our friends to a show at our local Hard Rock Cafe. Our friends were playing and they have a really cool band called Arizona Sul. They literally brought the house down. I knew people liked them, I like them, I knew all my friends liked them, but I had no idea the Brazilian masses were so into them. People were dancing and singing and shouting and getting their freak on. Some of my mother's friends went and they were letting their crazy hang out for all the world to see. I admire them for that. They had fun, got super sweaty and worked out all the issues they would probably have had to pay considerable coin for at the shrink's. All power to them. Plus it was pretty fun for the rest of us, who kept our dignity may I add, to point and laugh.


That's their ex-drummer, now percussionist, Marcelo. He rocked out and had a great time. Every couple of songs he would pull out another toy and bang on it, change hats and either stand up or sit down.


This is Jules, my friend, doing her whole hot milkmaid look. It was a very popular look with the guys but I'm not sure the girlfriends were too happy about it.


This is Eman and Jules' son, Arthur, but I like to call him Jailbait for short because he is a walking felony. All the 30 somthings attack him after shows and it's all Jules can do to beat them off with a stick, or tamborine. Of course being the 16 yr old (and Hanson doppleganger) that he is, he just eats it up. He's a great drummer, though and an asset to the band.


Eman is a rock star. He's really amazing and put on a serious show. This other dude with them is a friend who gets up and plays the sax sometimes, for a couple of songs. He plays well, but if he didn't make it one of their shows I don't think he would be as missed as the others. The one thing he did do that I thought was pretty cool was play the song from Pink Panther when they did their "credits" number and introduced themselves to the crowd (they always do it at the end of the show).


Kevin is their new bass player. He's a friend of Jailbait's. He changes hats every song and wanders around the stage doing his thing.


This trio here is killer: Jules, Jailbait and Eman. They're all crazy talented and have tons of fun doing what they do - putting on awesome shows! I really hope I get to see them again sooner rather than later, but who knows. We work during the week and rest on the weekends. They work on weekends and rest during the week. Our schedules really clash and they live far away, like an hour and a half drive at least from where we live.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

If......


So...yeah...I'm not sure what's going on, but the universe is really giving me a run for my money. Everything seems to be going against me right now. Well, not everything, but quite a few things, important things. I'm trying to decide if I'm just swimming upstream, or what? I want to just go with the flow, and I'm doing my best to make that happen, but it has not been easy.

I'm trying to move to a new place that will be better for my family and it's been nearly impossible. Red tape and stupidity - not to mention laziness and irresponsibility of the part of others - has put our plans on hold and delayed everything. Then, as if that weren't enough, our car broke down for an entire weekend. The blows just keep coming. I've been noticing that whenever I go with it, it seems to work out better than when I fight it, but it's so hard to know which one to do - fight or go with the flow. It's not easy to do alone and it's all I can do to keep it together and try to keep HRH from losing it.

It's times like these that peace becomes so much more important. Problems with the kids - behavioral mostly, and otherwise - get blown out of proportion and keeping one's head seems near impossible. This is when I'm reminded of one of my very favorite poems and quite possibly the most important poem in history, If by Rudyard Kipling.

He lays out a timeless blue print for our life that until now has not been equalled. Regardless of nationality, race, culture or religion, his words are perfectly applicable and in my opinion advisable. This is what makes it so special. It's the clearest, most black and white, no bullshit advice ever given on how to live one's life and I have strived to follow it to the best of my ability. I haven't quite mastered it, but I read it periodically - especially during more difficult times - and it always seems to help.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Fun: Thinking of You


I'm sick. At death's door, in fact. I've been living on sheer willpower and determination. Drinking the tea of positivity and purpose. Napping on a bed of strength of character and laying my head on a pillow of resoluteness. Thankfully I don't have the black lung, I really do hate coughs, but I've got everything else. I don't get sick often, perhaps twice a year, so I'm hoping that this is one of the times because as Jon Bon Jovi so eloquently put it, I'm living on a prayer. (There is a teeny tiny possibility that I am just slightly exaggerating my illness.) Anyway, most of the time I just pretend I'm not sick, seems to work.

I decided yesterday that the best time for me to be sick for real was after I was done with my morning chores, but HRH (Fukui-san) would hear nothing of it. He was all up in my grill asking me where his cake was, when it would be ready and why was I not making it yet. I guess I forgot to check with him before I got sick. Tsk, tsk. So I was all like, "First of all, I may be crossing the pearly gates a lot sooner than planned if I don't take a nap; secondly, you think you're so cool because you don't watch GG, but you should in fact feel guilty, because it's awesome; and thirdly, it'll be ready at 5". So, Angie made the cake and I handled the icing, filling and assembly. It came out great. I tried out a new recipe for Swiss buttercream frosting and it was out of sight. Oh Angie, where would I be without my home doppelganger?

I've been remiss in posting lately, but I'm making it up to you now by being super awesome and showing you a music video I fell in love with. I mean, mad, mad love. Everything from the wardrobe, to the makeup, to the story, and the song itself is amazing. I love! - and I'm pretty sure you will to after this.

You're welcome:

Friday, April 17, 2009

Have a Great Weekend -- I Know I Will

This weekend is going to be a busy one for me. I don't know about any of you, but I haven't gone out and done a bunch of awesome stuff in a 'coons age - so it should be really fun. Here's what my schedule will look like:

Saturday morning - Get up, have breakfast, make lunch (something that can be easily warmed up), fix hair so it looks like I fell out of a magazine or movie set, do my makeup and put on some decent clothes.

Saturday noon - Go to Jardim Botanico where I'll meet up with a friend and head to the center of town. There we will go to an art exhibit, have lunch, then go to another exhibit but this one is special because a friend of ours is showing her stuff, so it's a pretty big deal.

Saturday evening - must get home as fast as possible so I can shower, change and redo my makeup and hair because we're going out with a large group of friends to a show at Hard Rock Cafe. Our friends are musicians and we haven't seen them in forever so it should be super cool.

Sunday - don't have to make breakfast because Fukui-san will, then I'll go shopping for the week, put everything away and then make our Sunday meal. Clean up and then head out to see Idol at our friend's. He has TIVO, we don't.

Sounds fun but busy, right? Have a great weekend y'all! I'm going to leave you with a compilation of hilarious moments from one of my all time fave comedies What About Bob? I know you'll love it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Majah!


Today is my Majah's birthday. My Majah is one of the craziest crazies there ever existed. When she was younger she decided to lop off all her hair, wear cargo pants and boots and become a Commy. Then she decided that that wasn't good enough, so she grew her hair out and joined the theater. There she met many interesting, but mostly weird, people. She had a number of unique experiences and participated in less interesting and more horrifying things like killing a live animal on stage - for the sake of the arts, naturally.

This was the height of the hippie movement in the 60's and my Mom was all over it like peanut butter on bread. She got so into in fact that she decided to travel with one of her very best friends around Europe and experience the "movement" firsthand. They jumped on a boat and a hop, skip and an incarceration later they were in Europe. After wandering about eating grass with some weirdos in a commune, running away from crazed and sexually deviant Moroccans, working in a bubble gum factory, taking copious amounts of hallucinogenics and nearly freezing to death on the canal in Amsterdam, my Fajah and Majah finally found their way to the light.

The light they found was a bunch of crazy hippies like themselves who now instead of being high on everything on the planet like they were before, were now completely and unequivocally high on something much more fantastic - Christ. Yes, my parents became Jesus Freaks. For real, because that's what they called themselves back then. And they loved it. They loved every single minute of it. They loved it so much actually, that they never stopped loving it. Until today they are both full time Jesus people. They wake up everyday and do what they've done for years, serve the Lord, and they're great at it.


Majah's main thing for years now has been to help others in their time of need. Sometimes that involves helping the needy, distributing food and supplies, sometimes that means taking care of the people who are doing the distributing and heavy lifting - so to speak. Sometimes it means listening to people whine about their lives and helping them make tough decisions.

Majah can do many, many things, but one of her most important gifts is the gift of peace. She has the ability to make you feel peaceful. When things are troubling you and you feel you have no way out and that it's the end of the world, she will totally bring you back from the abyss. I know that most mothers have this gift with their own kids, but my Majah has this gift with everyone. Across the board. Everyone she knows goes to her for that, even my hubby. Yes, my husband goes to his mother in law to talk. I think that says it all, doesn't it? Once the son in law is won over in that way, you know the person is seriously special.

Recently Majah found out she has diabetes. She did not go into the depths of despair, she decided she would fight it - and she did. She now has it under control, as well as her high blood pressure, and is jogging and exercising at the gym, and doing all the things a normal 58 yr old would never do. But then again, if you read from the beginning of this post on, you already know that there is nothing "normal" about her. She really is special - and I'm not just saying that because I'm her daughter. I'm saying that because I'm awesome and I recognize awesomeness in others when I see it.

All that to say, Happy Birthday Majah! I hope you have a wonderful 58 more years (unless you're falling apart and there's no more patching you up by the time you're 100, then you have my permission to go on to your Heavenly reward).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What Are You Up These Days?


Book
Just finished reading Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. It was intelligent and fun. It all takes place in a certain time frame which makes it really exiting, kind of like 24.

Song
I am so into Eva Cassidy right now.

Frequently Worn Outfit
Beautiful summer dresses and bulky necklaces -- not. I'm wearing what I always wear, shorts and T-shirt.

Perfume
Not sticking to just one. Recently I've worn David Yurman, Simply, Cristalle, Iris and Mitsouko.

Makeup
I'm loving my new blush, Fleur Power by MAC. I posted about it yesterday, so just scroll down to see how much I love it.

Food
I'm not excited about anything right now. I saw this show the other day with all this bbq and ribs and stuff and it looked awesome, so I don't know, maybe I just need a good steak or something.

Drink
Gin and Tonic. The way James makes it with a bit of cointreau. It was to die for. He used Bombay Sapphire gin - so good! Daniel also make his Irish cream liquor and it was really good with crushed ice.

Guilty Pleasure
There are like 50 truffles left over from Easter in my fridge right now, and I must have eaten 3 in total (counting whatever Easter binge we had) and I'm done. I made so many of them, plus brownies and mousse for Easter that I can't look at any more chocolate. I think just by making them, I "psychologically" ate them and now I feel like I ate all the chocolate in the world, even though I didn't. Anyway, all that to say, that at the moment, no guilty pleasure, just weird unfounded guilt.

Bane of My Existence

Bills.

Anticipation
Cold weather and Arizona's show on Saturday. It'll be so fun!

Movie/TV
I haven't seen any good movies lately. I liked Watchmen, but not enough to go on and on about it here. I'm loving the new series Fringe and of course Idol. Adam is still my American Idol (and my secret crush) and I look forward to what he's going to entertain us with every week.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Makeup: MAC Fleur Power Blush

This is totally what Fleur Power looks like when it's on. It's peachy with a pink hue. Perfection!

The other day my friends and I were at the mall looking at the new collections at MAC and thanking our lucky stars that the Hello Kitty collection got stuck at customs thereby helping us resist the temptation to buy out the entire place. Regardless of the fact that the collection we had been waiting for was missing, it was still a very fun time. We all put on tons of make up, tried on gloss and lipstick and generally made a mess of the place. This is when befriending the SA's is very, very important.

In the end, I tried on 3 blushes and several lip colors. I loved everything, but was not going to sell a kidney to support my makeup habit, so I bought what I went there to buy, a blush. The blush I chose is Fleur Power. I know what you're thinking right now, and that's not it at all. I didn't buy it because of the name. I bought it because it's the most beautiful blush in the world. No other reason.


When I bought it I thought it was beautiful, but the more I use it the more smitten I am with it. I can't get enough of the peachy pink color. It doesn't have a drop of shimmer, which makes it really wearable by anyone at any time. It's a classic day look. It gives you an healthy glow and brightens up whatever you're wearing.

The other day I paired it with a simple shimmery sandy eye, mascara and coral glossy lip and the combination was stunning. I think it would be perfect with a smokey eye as it would liven up the look and steer it away from that "heroine" ashy appearance that sometimes comes along as a bonus. The ashy look is not always bad, it really depends what you're going for, but it doesn't look inspired, with this blush, it would look inspired.

Another perfect option (very similar in color, like a 1st degree cousin) is Dainty. It has some shimmer, but not much. It's part of the MAC Mineralize collection so it won't be available for much longer. It's lighter than Fleur Power so you would have to use a bit more, but man is it gorgeous!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Recipe: Dark Chocolate Truffles


Everyone gather 'round, because I'm going to share with you a most secret recipe which has been passed down from generation to generation of chocolate lovers. This is a recipe that when followed carefully will bring on insane delight and everlasting cravings. It is said to be used in natural medicine as a way to bring people out of depression. It is also said that - and I'm not inventing or saying this lightly - you can never make too many of them. They are bitter and sweet, creamy and firm, rich, decadent, fruity, buttery, powdery and the ultimate ruin of any diabetic. It is sinfully delicious. This recipe has been banned from temples and places of worship. It is also considered taboo by many religious zealots.

A word of caution before I give you the recipe: if you give this to your friends and/or family, they will always want you to make it.

Now, on to the recipe. I came across this jewel one rainy afternoon when I went to the market and decided to indulge in a bittersweet chocolate craving. When I opened the wrapper I saw a recipe there for Nestle Dark Chocolate Truffles. The next day I went back to the market and bought more chocolate, then set out to make my very first batch. This was March of 2003, a good year all around. This recipe calls for whiskey but I chose to use a fruity liquor, cassis to be exact. It's perfect. Since then I have tried it with rum, whiskey, but I always go back to cassis or cherry liquor.

Nestle Dark Chocolate Truffles

500 gr bittersweet chocolate
1/2 can heavy cream (200 ml)
100 gr butter (room temperature)
2 tbs whiskey
cocoa powder for coating

  • Melt chocolate in bain marie
  • Add cream and let cool to room temperature
  • Add butter and whiskey and stir to mix well
  • Refrigerate for 24 hours in sealed plastic container
  • Form into balls using a melon baller or round measuring spoon, whatever's handy
  • Coat in cocoa powder and refrigerate for at least 2 more hours before serving
Optional: You can melt another 500 gr of chocolate and coat the truffles, let them cool, then roll in cocoa powder. Make sure to refrigerate for 2 hours before coating in melted chocolate. I don't usually do the whole second coating of chocolate. I have in the past, but it was way time consuming. It's a nice variation though.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter: pagans, chocolate, heathen rituals and family fun


Easter. It's creeping up on us like an elephant in heels. Everywhere you look you're bombarded with Easter ads for chocolate, chocolate eggs, bunnies, and more chocolate. It's just trรจs bizarre. How did it get so mixed up? There are sections in the supermarket that you can't even walk through because there are so many Easter eggs. They're not cheap either. No, they're using this holiday to make as much money as possible and they're using the suckers who buy into this crap to do it.


I will not be one of the suckers.

I do love chocolate though, so I'll use this holiday as an excuse to make truffles. It's a family favorite and it's affordable when you make it yourself. Our Easter celebration will be simple. We'll have a family lunch, which is always nice. We'll sit around and play cards or some game afterwards and we'll all laugh a lot and have tons of fun.

Last year and the year before that we did the whole "Jesus of Nazareth" bit with the kids. We showed them "The 10 Commandments" and other movies to explain to them what the Jews celebrate, and what the Christians celebrate. Then we feed them chocolate to show them what everyone else celebrates.


We can thank the Germans for all the chocolate over indulgence, by the way. They're the ones who started it all and it spread like wildfire because everyone's always looking for an excuse to eat more chocolate.


I'll always be surprised at all the pagan rituals Christians buy into. Over the years they get watered down and turn into something simple and innocent like a little old man bringing gifts to good children, or a bunny bringing colored eggs to good children, but way down in there they all come from some form of non-Christian ritual, celebration or folklore. While to some Easter is spring and a time to worship and celebrate the gods of fertility and fornicate in the open fields, to others it's a simple and happy time to overspend on something as simple as chocolate and to go crazy over pastel colors.


I'm not sure the devout have got it right either. I mean, there are Catholics who crucify themselves during this time of year in the hopes of gaining either forgivess or healing for a family member. That's just not right. I remember seeing pictures of this horrific and greusome tradition in the Phillipines when I was a child and I just remember feeling sick. It was very heathen and super, super creepy.

I'm not sure I'm going about this whole Easter business correctly and I have a sneaky suspicion that the Jews are the ones who've got it right. Everything they eat is symbolic and a reminder of what they went through and what they escaped. The songs they sing and the entire celebration is very specific and no matter how many thousands of years have gone by since the first Easter, it hasn't been adulterated and is still exactly the same.

In conclusion, my children are informed and know exactly what's hapenning. They are not crazy freaks who will one day crucify themselves, nor will they be spending millions on Easter eggs for everyone they know. They will not be eating bitter herbs either, but all in all, I think they will look at this holiday as a time to share good times with those they love and keep in mind that the zealot Christians, and the Jews are all doing their thing. They will remember without fanatacism what this day means and acknowlege that major things happened that should be respected by everyone.


I have a very fond memory though of when I was about 5 yrs old and we lived in this house in Curitiba. We sat around with Fajah (our Dad is an artist/painter) and dyed boiled eggs, painted hollow ones, and made baskets. The next morning we woke up at the crack of dawn to search the house for our Easter baskets. They didn't have any chocolate in them because my parents were macrobiotics, but they did have beautiful colored eggs and I think some honey candy too. Man! Those were good times! Maybe I should paint some eggs with mon enfants this year in honor of a very good Easter I remember having when I was 5. I totally painted eggs with my friends in later years, but that's the Easter I remember best.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Eh.


I don't know what it is. I swear I have no idea at all. I feel totally pleh. Not sure if that's a word, but that's how I feel. I make a good meal, a great meal even, and there is a fleeting - fleeting like 3 seconds - feeling of accomplishment and then it's gone.

I've been doing good work, getting things done and making it happen, but still, pleh. People rely on me to help them and work things out, I've been doing it as well as a number of other things. I'm multitasking like it's nobody's business, but I'm totally bored with it. I don't know what's wrong with me. I don't, really. It isn't that I'm sad or depressed or anything of the sort, it's so much worse than that - I'm indifferent. Has that ever happened to you?


I'm trying to think of something to do to break me out of my ennui and I'm more or less drawing a blank. At first I thought I just needed to read a really good book, but then I remembered that I am reading a really good book, Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. It's fun, intelligent and totally page turning, but I'm such a turnip right now that even a spectacular bestseller that's being made into a movie starring Tom Hanks and Ewan McGregor among others, isn't snapping me out of it.

The weather has cooled and is now a bearable hot. I should be running through the fields like Brother Sun and Sister Moon. Eh. I should be hugging strangers in the streets and dancing in the rain, but I'm not, nor will I. I should be dressing up like Mother Nature and sing "The Lusty Month of May", but that's not happening any time soon. I should be skipping through the supermarket laughing when I pick up a loaf of bread, not likely. I should be should be wearing summer dresses and twirling like a twirling dervish, but I'm positive I won't. I should be laughing, a lot, like a crazy giggling teenager, but Heaven help us all if I do.


I guess what I have to realize is that we all go through a slump. Not necessarily a serious slump, just a bum slump and we just have to grin and bear it until it passes. I'll just keep repeating the mantra, "This too shall pass" until it happens. I just hope people can put up with me that long. And by people, of course I mean the crowds of people always in and out of my house.

Here's a quote for the day, so I can say I didn't leave you with absolutely nothing but a really boring post:

"Anything too stupid to be said is sung". Voltaire

That's funny.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Fave Musical Moments

Yesterday Mary, Tati and I had a glorious picnic on a perfect sunny day. There was a gentle cool breeze, lovely rays of autumn sun bursting through the trees, birds singing, capivaras feeding nearby, fish swimming and Andrea Bocelli serenading us (not in person, unfortunately).

We relaxed and talked, read and laughed for hours. Such magnificent good times. It was mine and Mary's birthday party for Tati. While we were there we started talking about our favorite musicals and the songs in the musicals, you know, those ones you'll always remember. We were originally thinking of the most romantic ones (this being Tati's thing and all), but then we got carried away and went on and on. I won't post everything, it's just too much - you know what suckers we all are for musicals - but I will give you a glimpse.

Here are some of our favorites:

Mary's fave romantic song from a motion picture



Tati's fave romantic



Angie's fave (not romantic because Angie is so not romantic and unless someone is throwing a phone or breaking out of all the prisons this side of the Atlantic she's just not interested)



My fave. Let me explain. I think the song is beautiful, not the whole betrayal of King Arthur by his two most trusted friends, which positively stinks. This story kills me every time.



These are pure gold and great every single time. Enjoy:







Wow! I could go on and on and on and on, but we've got to stop somewhere, and I choose here. Plus this leaves me many options for next time.

You're welcome!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Poetry: The House of Clouds


The House of Clouds -- Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I would build a cloudy House
For my thoughts to live in;
When for earth too fancy-loose
And too low for Heaven!
Hush! I talk my dream aloud---
I build it bright to see,---
I build it on the moonlit cloud,
To which I looked with thee.

Cloud-walls of the morning's grey,
Faced with amber column,---
Crowned with crimson cupola
From a sunset solemn!
May mists, for the casements, fetch,
Pale and glimmering;
With a sunbeam hid in each,
And a smell of spring.

Build the entrance high and proud,
Darkening and then brightening,---
If a riven thunder-cloud,
Veined by the lightning.
Use one with an iris-stain,
For the door within;
Turning to a sound like rain,
As I enter in.

Build a spacious hall thereby:
Boldly, never fearing.
Use the blue place of the sky,
Which the wind is clearing;
Branched with corridors sublime,
Flecked with winding stairs---
Such as children wish to climb,
Following their own prayers.

In the mutest of the house,
I will have my chamber:
Silence at the door shall use
Evening's light of amber,
Solemnising every mood,
Softemng in degree,---
Turning sadness into good,
As I turn the key.

Be my chamber tapestried
With the showers of summer,
Close, but soundless,---glorified
When the sunbeams come here;
Wandering harpers, harping on
Waters stringed for such,---
Drawing colours, for a tune,
With a vibrant touch.

Bring a shadow green and still
From the chestnut forest,
Bring a purple from the hill,
When the heat is sorest;
Spread them out from wall to wall,
Carpet-wove around,---
Whereupon the foot shall fall
In light instead of sound.

Bring the fantasque cloudlets home
From the noontide zenith
Ranged, for sculptures, round the room,---
Named as Fancy weeneth:
Some be Junos, without eyes;
Naiads, without sources
Some be birds of paradise,---
Some, Olympian horses.

Bring the dews the birds shake off,
Waking in the hedges,---
Those too, perfumed for a proof,
From the lilies' edges:
From our England's field and moor,
Bring them calm and white in;
Whence to form a mirror pure,
For Love's self-delighting.

Bring a grey cloud from the east,
Where the lark is singing;
Something of the song at least,
Unlost in the bringing:
That shall be a morning chair,
Poet-dream may sit in,
When it leans out on the air,
Unrhymed and unwritten.

Bring the red cloud from the sun
While he sinketh, catch it.
That shall be a couch,---with one
Sidelong star to watch it,---
Fit for poet's finest Thought,
At the curfew-sounding,--- ;
Things unseen being nearer brought
Than the seen, around him.

Poet's thought,----not poet's sigh!
'Las, they come together!
Cloudy walls divide and fly,
As in April weather!
Cupola and column proud,
Structure bright to see---
Gone---except that moonlit cloud,
To which I looked with thee!

Let them! Wipe such visionings
From the Fancy's cartel---
Love secures some fairer things
Dowered with his immortal.
The sun may darken,---heaven be bowed---
But still, unchanged shall be,---
Here in my soul,---that moonlit cloud,
To which I looked with THEE!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Good Plan B


To say that I've been busy lately would be an understatement. I know I'm not busy the way you're busy, but I'm plenty busy. That is of course my reason (not excuse) for not posting this week until today.

It looks like we'll be moving. We've been living in the same place for nearly 6 yrs and have grown very accustomed to a cozy life. The kids fall out of bed a couple of minutes before class and roll into school without breaking a sweat. Sweet. Fukui-san can come home several times a day just to get on mine and Angie's nerves. Fantastic. Angie can throw a stone from our veranda and hit her university professor on the head. Nice.

We've gotten used to a very comfortable style of living, not extravagant mind you, and not with a lot of physical things, but with convenience. A DVD club right in front of our house, supermarket, mall, restaurants, bars, hoodlums, loud rowdy crowds, blaring music of all kinds (mostly bad), banks, wow - we really have everything at the tips of our long-overdue-for-a-manicure fingers.

If I were to write down all the things I like about where we live the list could go on and on, so I won't. But the truth is that we have been blessed with 6 yrs of perfect location living, but that phase of our lives ends now and we begin a new one.

The reason we're moving is simple, money. We can save a significant amount of money off our rent, plus gain one extra room simply by moving to another condominium 10 minutes away. We will still have many things nearby so that should make the transition period easier. For example, there is a mall. It's not a nice mall by any standard, but it's a mall nontheless and perhaps I can find a salon there and finally get that manicure I've been needing. There's a supermarket. Not a nice supermarket no matter how you wish to describe it, but a supermarket it is. There are no bars and hang out areas nearby (not such a bad thing considering the noise), but I did see some guys sitting by the side of the road sipping bears after their long work day, so, I guess if we really want we could always join them.

In the end, the place we're getting is good, clean, safe, considerably cheaper, and will do very nicely. I've got a good feeling about this decision to move, change, go somewhere else and make it work there. This is not a step backward, I really believe this is a solid step in the right direction for a better life for our (we wish it were) little family.

As James Yorke once said, "The most successful people are those who are good at plan B".



That was Tracy Chapman singing Bob Dylan's The Times They are a-Changin'. Which version do you like better?